Retailers JC Penney and Kohl’s both reported fiscal first-quarter earnings Tuesday with some disappointing results and investors sent the stocks into freefall. The results underscore the tough environment many retailers are facing.
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J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) announced financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended May 4, 2019. Net loss for the quarter was $154 million (or 48 cents per share). Comparable sales decreased 5.5 percent for the first quarter. Total net sales decreased 5.6 percent to $2.44 billion compared to $2.58 billion for the quarter ended May 5, 2018.
The department store chain’s CEO, Jill Soltau, said in a statement that she was “pleased with the strides” the company has made. Recently, JCPenney announced it was ditching the sales of appliances and furniture and would turn its focus to clothing.
“We have made good progress on each of our immediate action steps highlighted last quarter, including our continued efforts to reduce and enhance our inventory position, which resulted in a 16 % reduction in our inventory and a meaningful improvement in our free cash flow this quarter,” Soltau said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Kohl’s (KSS) reported a fiscal first-quarter net income of $62 million. The Wisconsin-based company said it had profit of 38 cents. Earnings, adjusted for asset impairment costs, came to 61 cents per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. The department store operator posted revenue of $4.09 billion in the period, also falling short of Wall Street forecasts.
Kohl's expects full-year earnings to be in the range of $5.15 to $5.45 per share. Kohl’s shares have decreased 5 percent since the beginning of the year.
The department store giant’s CEO, Michelle Gass, acknowledged in a statement that so far the year has “started off slower than we’d like.”
“We are actively addressing the opportunities that impacted our first quarter sales and we have strong initiatives that will enhance our sales performance in the second half,” Gass said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.